Enver Pasha

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Ismail Enver, known to Europeans during his political career as Enver Pasha (Istanbul, November 22, 1881 - August 4, 1922) was a military officer and a leader of the Young Turk revolution in the closing days of the Ottoman Empire. He was a vocal supporter of eliminating the non-Turkish population of the rump Ottoman Empire.

In April 1912 the Young Turks (officially the C.U.P.) won an overwhelming majority in an election, but loss of the province of Libya to Italy and other setbacks eroded its support to the point that in July the C.U.P. was forced to yield to a political coalition called the Liberal Union, which formed a ministry. In a coup on January 23, 1913, the C.U.P. overthrew the Liberal Union coalition and introduced a military dictatorship headed by the "Three Pashas" - Cemal, Enver and Talât. Enver's portfolio was Minister of War. With the opening of hostilities in World War I the Ottomans suffered a disastrous defeat almost immediately, when the Third Army was decimated in eastern Anatolia in December 1914, during an abortive offensive led by Enver against Russia. On suspicions that Russian sympathisers within the Armenian community were planning a revolt, he ordered that Armenian recruits in the Ottoman forces be disarmed, demobilized and assigned to labor camps, where they were summarily executed. Turkish sources claim, however, that the demobilized Armenian soldiers were returned to Armenia.

Enver was not directly in charge of the Armenian Genocide of 1915, but according to Armenian resources, on May 19, 1916, Enver declared, "The Ottoman Empire should be cleaned up of the Armenians and the Lebanese. We have destroyed the former by the sword, we shall destroy the latter through starvation." He further stated, "I am entirely willing to accept the responsibility myself for everything that has taken place."

At the end of the war Talât resigned days before the empire capitulated and signs an armistice on October 30. The C.U.P. Cabinet resigned en masse in the next two days, and the "Three Pashas" fled into exile. A post-war tribunal in Istanbul tried him in absentia and condemned him to death.

Enver was ironically killed in action against an Armenian batallion of the Red Army on August 4, 1922, near Baldzhuan in Turkestan (present-day Tajikistan).

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